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Best Cross-Cut Shredder in 2024: Best Safe Shredder Picks

Dispose of personal data safely with the best cross-cut shredder!
Last Updated on February 8, 2024
Best Cross-Cut Shredder

The best cross-cut shredders count among the best on the market: ensuring safe and smooth document disposal for the most sensitive of documents. As one of the most common forms of paper shredder design on the market, there are plenty of cross-cut products available. If you are looking to securely destroy paper documents for your home or office, there are plenty of options to choose from – but which are the best?

We’ve put together a buyer’s guide of products, across a range of budgets, that all fit the billing of “best cross-cut shredder”. Whether you are looking to shred large quantities of paper or simply the occasional document, read on to find the perfect choice for you!

Products at a Glance

How We Picked the Best Cross-Cut Shredders

To come up with this list, we prioritized diversifying the products to meet every shredding need out there. That’s why we included a wide range of sheet capacities, runtimes, and prices. On top of that, we included paper shredders for both home and office use. Regarding performance, we looked for products with extra features that can make your life easier, like rolling wheels for easier portability, motion sensors for enhanced safety, and pull-out wastebaskets for quick emptying.

Our Recommended

Product Reviews

  • P-4 security rating
  • Smooth and quiet-running
  • Premium price

If you’re looking for a heavy-duty office shredder that can meet the shredding needs of multiple people at once, you’ll love the Bonsen S3104. It can take up to 20 sheets at once and boasts a large wastebasket that holds up to 6.6 gallons of shredded paper.

This cross-cut shredder cuts paper documents into confetti-like pieces with dimensions of 5 x 25 mm. Since this size is smaller than the average office shredder can achieve, the S3104 has a P-4 security level, making it ideal for sensitive information. Better yet, the S3104 can work for 60 minutes before requiring a cool-down, which boosts its productivity. It takes a break for 20 minutes only before resuming work, thanks to its standout cooling system that keeps the motor and wires cool for a longer time than average. It produces noise lower than 60 dB while shredding, so it won’t add to the existing noise in your workspace. 

However, the major drawback to the S3104 is its price: even on sale it’s considerably more expensive than other offerings on the market. It is a cost reflective of quality, however, and we still recommend the S3104 as the best cross-cut shredder for both home and office!

  • Multimedia support
  • Affordable
  • Poor running time

For a good-quality cross-cut shredder under $100, consider Aurora’s AS890C. The AS890C is one of the most compact and lightweight shredders on the market, with dimensions of 12.6″ x 14.8″ and weighing a little over 8lbs.

This cross-cut shredder can take a maximum of 8 sheets at a time, thanks to its 8.7-inch opening. It also has a dedicated slot for credit cards and can handle paper clips and staples without an issue. For easy control, the AS890C features a switch with three options, auto, off, and reverse. The reverse option is reserved for jamming incidents, as you can use it to remove stuck paper from the shredder’s blades. On top of that, it features an LED status indicator to warn you if the device is overheating.

It’s good that the device warns you when it’s overheating, but it’s not so good how long it takes to get there. The AS890C runs for only 2 minutes before requiring a break, which is a poor time for workspaces. It comes with the territory of a budget model unfortunately, and we still recommend this shredder as a budget-friendly cross-cut shredder!

  • Quiet running
  • Portable
  • Bulkier than average

For quiet and continuous shredding, consider Bonsaii’s C149-C: a sterling shredder for all purposes. With patented cross-cut technology and quiet operation, this shredder is ideal for both households and businesses!

The C149-C can take 18 sheets at a time, and it cross-cuts your paper into tiny strips of 5 x 25 mm. As a bonus, it shreds debit and credit cards and staples. With a 6-gallon wastebasket, you can shred for long periods of time before needing to empty this portable shredder. On it’s heaviest duty cycle, you can shred continuously for up to 20 minutes – and thanks to an innovative cooling system, it won’t be long until the next load of shredding can begin.

However, it’s not all good news: the C149-C is hardly compact, and the bulky design may not be ideal for some offices. But if you can accommodate it, then the C149-C is the best cross-cut shredder for smooth and near-silent shredding!

  • Efficient and easy-to-use
  • Portable
  • Small wastebasket

For high-volume shredding, consider another Bonsen product: the S3102. Capable of shredding more than 4800 documents per hour, this unit is a powerhouse of document disposal.

The S3102 is already ahead of the competition with a fraction of the expected noise level of a standard shredder. The cross-cut shredder tears paper into shreds 0.2″ x 0.9″ in size, earning it a P-4 security rating. Thanks to Bonsen’s patented cooling system, the S3102 can run for an hour at a time with very short breaks to cool down.

However, you’ll be breaking more often to empty the wastebasket: 5.3 gallons of space equates to roughly 420 sheets, so it’s hard to maximize this shredder’s productivity when you have to frequently pause to empty the bin. Though it’s hard to find that balance, it doesn’t stop the S3102 from remaining as one of the top cross-cut shredders on the market!

  • Compact with large wastebin
  • Good build quality
  • Premium price

Finally, we come to Fellowes’ Powershred 60Cs, a top-notch shredder designed for homes. Using SafeSense technology and cross-cut technology, this shredder will keep both the digits on the page and the digits on your hand safe!

This shredder manages to strike a great balance between compactness and quantity, with a large 6-gallon wastebin contained within a small overall build that can easily fit under any desk. The transparent bin also means you’ll always know when it needs emptying. The 60Cs can run for 5 minutes on maximum settings, with a 20-minute cooldown, and is capable of shredding credit cards and other hard paper types.

That said, the 60Cs is more expensive than other shredders on the market, and as such may not be suitable for all households. However, we still recommend it as a premium cross-cut shredder for general household use.

Features and Considerations

If you’re looking to pick the best cross-cut shredder for yourself, here are some things to consider:

Sheet Capacity

A shredder’s sheet capacity is the number of paper documents it can handle at once. The larger the capacity is, the more productive the shredder will be. As you’ve seen above, sheet capacities range from 6 to 20 or more sheets. While 6 or 8 sheets are enough for home use, you’ll need a higher capacity than that if you’re getting the shredder for an office. Ultimately, the choice depends on the volume of paper you need to shred on a daily or weekly basis.

Runtime and Cool-Down Time

Shredders can run all the way from 2 minutes to 60 minutes without stopping for a break. As a rule of thumb, shredders with long runtimes are more productive than others, but they’re also more expensive due to the cooling systems required. If you have large-volume shredding needs and don’t mind paying a lot for a shredder, you should look for a median between a long runtime and a short cool-down time. This way, you’ll be able to shred larger volumes of paper in a shorter time.

Safety Features

Incidents are common with paper shredders, but the best shredders on the market work to minimize the chance of injury. You should try to get a cross-cut shredder with safety features to minimize risks as much as possible. These include overheating protection, anti-jamming, motion sensors, and automatic shutdown. 

Noise Level

Shredders generally run quite loudly, a byproduct of the medium. Most range from 50DB to the more dangerously loud 80DB. Naturally, a quieter shredder is a better shredder – but it can impact price.

Security Ratings - What Do They Mean?

In accordance with various data protection and document disposal laws, sensitive information is required to be shredded in a number of countries. Cross-cut shredders are the best for the job, as they tend to cut paper into far finer sizes than standard strip-cut shredders. Not all of them are equal, however, and to ensure you get the right shredder for secure document disposal, there is a simple security rating system. Ranging from P-1 all the way up to P-7, shredders are rated on how well they shred documents.

P-1 is, naturally, the lowest: generally not considered secure enough for personal data or financial information. P-7 is the most secure, cutting paper into fractions of millimeters to ensure privileged information stays that way.

For general office purposes, a rating of P-4 is generally the safest bet: cutting documents into illegible shreds for safety and security. Unless your workplace deals in data of the utmost secrecy, in which case consider a more secure shredder.

How long does a cross-cut shredder last?

Cross-cut shredders can last an average of 5-10 years if maintained properly. To avoid cutting this number short, regularly lubricate its blades and avoid overloading it with more documents than suitable. You should also try to not run it for longer than its recommended runtime.

Is a P-4 rating good?

Yes: For general-purpose document disposal, a P-4 security rating is suitable for safe shredding of personal data or sensitive information. There are more secure shredders on the market, but they are both over-budget and overkill for most commercial uses.

Our Verdict

We’re big fans of the Bonsen S3104, and are happy to crown it the best cross-cut shredder on the market. Though its price may alienate some buyers, this shredder is ideal for safe and secure document disposal of any variety!

Looking to digitize some documents as well as destroy them? Consider our buyer’s guide on the best document scanners on the market today!